Strengthening the psychosocial skills of exiled people

rights of minorities

The K-par-Cas-2 tool was developed in 2021 thanks to a collaboration between The Ink Link and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and with financial support from the European Union as part of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for the Reintegration and Protection of Migrants in the Sahel and Lake Chad Region.

It is an adaptation and extension of a first version developed in 2018 by Olivier Coldefy, expert psychologist, and Laure Garancher, cartoonist and co-founder of The Ink Link.

Returning migrants may indeed find it difficult to readjust and rebuild their lives, due to many of the same economic, social and psychosocial factors that prompted them to emigrate in the first place, particularly if they have been out of the country for a long period, and/or if the return home took place after a migration journey that did not achieve the desired outcome. To this can be added the mental health consequences of often complex and difficult migration journeys, which can be characterized by exposure to experiences of violence, exploitation, abuse, precariousness and uncertainty, among others.

Psychosocial reintegration assistance and support is therefore essential to support sustainable reintegration, taking into account the emotional, psychological, socio-economic, socio-relational and cultural difficulties involved.

The K-par-Cas-2 tool makes it possible to discuss mental health and psychosocial needs with returning migrants, using a playful, interactive approach to break down barriers linked to the fear of stigmatization and social exclusion that people with emotional and psychological needs may feel, and the difficulty of identifying these needs or giving them the same priority as socio-economic needs.

To offer a more global approach, the initial K-par-Cas kit has been improved with new modules.

Kit 1: Making the most of your personal history


  • Enable returning migrants to talk about themselves (culture, family history, etc.) in a safe, non-intrusive environment;
  • Promote exchanges and the sharing of experiences between returnees of different nationalities and/or from the same culture and country of origin;
  • Enable the facilitator to value the unique story of each returnee and gather important information about their life course, to better support them in the process of their return and reintegration.

In the new version of K-par-Cas, a new set of images has been created for children. 

The aim is to introduce a playful, relatively carefree time focused on them.

Kit 2 : Experiences as a migrant


  • Discuss and detail the migration journey in a caring context;
  • Enable the migrant to sort out his/her ideas/journey;
  • Identify the difficult and positive times experienced during the migration journey (including those experienced during the return home stage, if this has already taken place) and enable the migrant to take stock of his or her trajectory;
  • Identify potentially traumatic events and their temporality, in order to adapt care.

Kit 3 : Mental health

Kit 3 is designed to address the issue of mental health in the context of migration. It has several tools:

A flip-book explaining what mental health is and why the migrant population is more at risk of psycho-social angst. 


  • Raise awareness of the issue of mental health and psychosocial well-being among returning migrants;
  • Facilitate returnees' self-identification of signs of psychosocial distress and how to cope with them, and/or seek specialized help when needed.


  • The flip-book can be used in combination with kits 1 and 2, or as a stand-alone tool (e.g., during individual psychological support sessions and/or to raise awareness of mental health issues and/or provide information on the specialist services available);
  • At any time during the return preparation phase;
  • During awareness-raising sessions on mental health in the context of migration;
  • During psycho-education sessions, as a support tool;
  • As a tool used by exiled people themselves to understand, in simple language, what mental health is, and to better identify possible signs of psychological distress in themselves, and ways of dealing with them or seeking help.

A card game to help exiled people talk about their emotions.


  • Help the expression of emotions and signs of psychological distress in a secure, caring and non-stigmatizing environment;
  • Help the identification of signs of psychological distress according to their degree of severity, and propose appropriate solutions to deal with them (e.g., referral to specialized psychological/psychiatric services);
  • Enable the facilitator to provide reassuring messages such as normalization and legitimization (e.g., : many negative psychological reactions can be considered as adapted and not as abnormal in the face of existing stress factors and in very demanding circumstances).

Kit 4 : Skills

A module to learn how to believe in oneself and take stock of one's human and technical skills.

After using the first K-par-Cas kit, which enables the facilitator to get to know the person, we suggest digging deeper into his or her skills. First, we show exiled people a stack of cards listing the main human skills (cheerful, polite, organized, etc.). The person chooses the ones that match him or her. Some people who have lost confidence may decide none, or not enough. Using the information gathered in the first kit, the facilitator will recommend the skills that seem to fit in with the person. For example: “But you said you were in charge of the whole family, so you must be organized!”

Next, we submit a set of technical skills cards (computer skills, business skills, woodworking skills, etc.). Here again, we help people who might not recognize themselves to pick the skills that correspond to them.

Finally, we ask everyone to tell anecdotes that illustrate these skills. This not only enhances their self-esteem in front of the group, but also helps them to remember these skills as they move forward in their career.

And here's a word from the tool's users!

To use this tool, training is offered.

The first training session, in the form of a “training of trainer” course, was held in Dakar in January 2023, and enabled referents from 14 countries in the region to be trained.